Returned soldier Robert Hill Jr.
Guest Blogger: Gwen Price, Atherton Library, Tablelands Regional Council
Robert Hill Jr. was the son of Scottish farmers Robert and Grace Hill who arrived in Port Douglas, North Queensland in 1889 aboard the ‘Dacca’. Robert, his five brothers and three sisters were all born in North Queensland. The family property called “Dundas Farm” was located half way between Atherton and Yungaburra.
Aged 22½ years, Robert enlisted with the 9th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement Unit in Townsville on 18 October, 1915. His enlistment describes him as 5 feet 11½ inches tall, a labourer with fair complexion, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. The unit embarked from Brisbane aboard the HMAT A73 Commonwealth on 28 March 1916. Private Robert Hill (serial number 4799) served for 3 years 223 days on the Western Front.
He returned to Australia 19 February 1919 aboard the Orca. The Northern Herald reported that he looked fit and well when he was duly welcomed home. On 29 May 1919 Robert received a certificate signed by Chairman George E Martin on behalf of the citizens of the Shire of Tinaroo in appreciation of his service to King and Country during the Great War.
Robert married Roselinda Johns in 1925. They lived along Cairns Road and later moved to Loder Street, Atherton.
It was not until 1937 he applied for his medals – the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals.
In 1950 Robert was appointed to the Atherton Tableland Maize Marketing Board. He also enjoyed playing competitive bowls with the members of the Atherton Diggers Club.
Robert, aged 86 years passed away on 25 June 1979 and is buried in Rockley Road Cemetery, Atherton.
One of the many local stories being uncovered!
Gwen Price, Atherton Library, Branch Supervisor